Call me crazy, but I have a thing for red. It's the new black. In fact, as much as I love black, I wish everything that came in black also came in a nice, bright red. Imagine how cool a red Moleskine notebook would be. Well, a red Bible is cool, too. And what's more, it's a classic, albeit an all too rare one. This isn't a diatribe on how all Bibles should be red; it isn't a screed against narrow-minded publishers who can't bring themselves to do the right thing and produce red leather bindings. Instead, it's a tribute, an homage to one of my favorites. In the photograph here, I've assembled a stack of red Bibles (with a Book of Common Prayer thrown in for good measure). Let's take a look.Starting from the bottom and working our way up: first, we have a nice Cambridge large-print KJV bound in top grain cowhide. I picked this one up in the late nineties at a Dublin cathedral. For my taste, there's a little too much purple in the red -- veering toward the dreaded "burgundy" -- but the cover is flexible and the type easy to read (if a little old fashioned). On top of that one, we have a smaller Cambridge KJV Cameo reference edition bound in French Morocco. As you can see from the photograph, this Bible sports an unusual finish, as if it couldn't make up its mind to between black and red -- or like a red Bible that fell off the back of the truck and got a good, even coat of tar for its trouble. I don't see them around as much anymore, but it used to be possible to find curious oddities like this by searching through a stack of Cambridge Bibles at the bookseller.
J Mark Bertrand